Parents Stories

I just wanted to thank everyone for all the support you have given my son. Being excluded in Year 7 was unbearable for a boy who loved to learn and he was at a low point when he started. Words just can’t express enough how grateful I am for all the help he has had from all the staff from the start. There are too many names to mention.All we hoped for at first was for him to have a place he could go and continue his studies and hopefully have a chance for him to get some GCSE qualifications.To have him in the position he is in today with 2 A star grades at A level so far and an unconditional offer for Manchester University for his final A level and a possibility for a place in Oxford is more than we could have ever hoped for and we will be forever grateful.It’s more than that though, Breckenbrough allowed him the space to accept his ASD diagnosis and move on to be the happy boy with friends he is today.


I discussed my son starting at Breckenbrough with my Mum over lunchtime and recent news about provision for children with additional needs especially ASD. We feel we are so lucky that he managed to get into Breckenbrough, and that local authority provision is so short-sighted. My son with the wonderful support and skills school has given him is likely to make a very positive contribution to society whereas without that support I dread to think where he might be or have ended up (in the end costing the LA/society more than the cost of quality provision). So, a big thank you for everything everyone has done in supporting and working with my son to this point. I know that OFSTEDs report was less than what you wanted, if only the inspectors could see the difference between an individual coming in and towards the end of their studies.

My son is a bright, articulate boy who has a diagnosis of Asperger’s and Dyspraxia, he exhibited high levels of anxiety when attending Mainstream School.  Despite this his needs were neither acknowledged nor met by his Primary School or our LEA resulting in a disastrous transition to Secondary School.  He required substantial CAMBS intervention to enable him to cope with his anxiety and extremely low self-esteem.

Despite his obvious ability our LEA suggested Special Schools that were suitable for less able students.  I knew if I allowed my son to enroll at any of these Schools he would fail to attend and end up with serious long term mental health issues.  I trawled the Internet desperately looking for the School that could offer an answer, I found it in Breckenbrough.  I will never forget my excitement when I read the parents reviews, it was like I was reading about my son, everything I read made me think this School was developed with my own child in mind, it was too good to be true.  I tried to be realistic and prepare myself to be disappointed when I made my first visit to the School, I was constantly trying to find fault.  My high expectations were totally exceeded, Breckenbrough was everything I had hoped for and much more I just knew it was right for my son. It is so much more than a School, it is difficult to put into words but tangible when you visit.  It is obvious that the boys are the top priority from the minute you walk in the door, their quirks and behaviors are tolerated and managed in a caring, supportive and compassionate way.

It is hard to articulate how difficult the last 18 months have been, the Educational Tribunal process is still ongoing, however this morning I returned from dropping my son off to start his 5th week as a weekly boarder at Breckenbrough, he couldn’t be happier.  He is engaging in his lessons, even his nemesis, English and Art, are enjoyable.  The transformation from School refuser to School attender is remarkable. The staff have supported me as much as my son, the transition has been much harder for me this time than it has been for him!  I am amazed how quickly the staff have tuned into his needs, they totally understand him.  It is so refreshing to be told what my sons needs are and have staff wanting to work in partnership with me to meet those needs. I miss my son terribly, however I am safe in the knowledge that I am leaving him in a truly unique environment with a staff that are caring, creative, talented and capable.  For the first time, my son is being given the opportunity to flourish, grow, fulfill his potential and achieve everything he deserves.

My son dreamed that I would find a School that was  ‘a place I can be, with people like me who get me’, in Breckenbrough I found it with ‘bells and whistles on’.

Breckenbrough is simply the best opportunity available for any boy who is endowed with ASC. The staff are exceptionally aware of their boys, and keep meticulous records of the most astounding detail centrally, so that all staff are constantly aware of the shifting sands that are the autistic child’s moods, strengths and weaknesses. My son has, like so many before him, changed (improved!) beyond all recognition over the 2 years he has so far had at Breck. He is now self-aware, and understands his ‘red buttons’ so is able to begin to comprehend those buttons in other people, and hence integrate socially. Thank you.

My son started Breckenbrough in year 5 and what a difference it made to our lives! Having an environment where his needs were catered for and understood was incredible and within just a few weeks he settled in and was so much happier.

It was great for him to start in primary class with Sharon to continue with what he had at his mainstream primary school e.g. One teacher, one classroom etc. before going up to year 7. It gave him the chance to adapt to the school in a nurtured environment.

It was the best decision we have ever made and we have never looked back!

Our son started on a staggered start with me taking him for few hours at a time to get used to the smells and sounds (the fish and chips on a Friday took a bit of getting used to, as did going to the Great Hall on a Friday for Assembly) He had a whole term of these staggered days getting him used to the other boys but also getting them used to him.

A lot of people ask about transport so to explain how patient everyone has been , he started in a taxi with two escorts (two members of staff from his original school who he had had a good relationship with) he then went down to one escort after a term then from one escort to no escort after 3 years. He finally shares a taxi with another boy in yr 10 – quite a step forward!

Once September came, he loved being in Sharon’s class – he grew from being a shy violent introvert dangerous unpredictable little boy into a boy who actually sat his SATS in yr 6 – Ok they may have all been in separate rooms and all with their own TA’s and with numerous breaks but they sat them and they did well and Sharon is an absolute miracle worker, a mum who understands our children and the most amazing gifted teacher, no shouting, no punishment, using conflict resolution like the rest of the school. Talented, thoughtful, patient, experienced teachers and care staff who are well led and creative in their ways of teaching and helping boys understanding life.

I had no faith in any teacher being able to teach my son anything and Sharon gave him the grounding to be the amazing young man who now going into yr 11 he himself chose to be a boarder and is on target to gain many GCSE’s and then do A levels at Breck too and then onto University all from that shy little violent boy who everyone apart from Breck wrote off.

My advice if you read the prospectus and it feels like ‘coming home’ for your son it probably is.

My son dreamed that I would find a School that was ‘a place I can be, with people like me who get me’, in Breckenbrough I found it with ‘bells and whistles on’.